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Nitro coffee

Nitrogen-infused coffee that tastes like beer is the new rage

Known as nitro coffee, the cold beverage is reminiscent of Guinness stout, with a head of cascading bubbles. It doesn’t just look like beer, it tastes a little like it, too.

Bon Appetit describes it as “rich and creamy” as well as “sweeter and less acidic than large-batch cold brew”, and even “chocolatey”.

The gas-infused brew bubbled up a couple of years ago from a few different coffeemakers. Food scientist Nate Armbrust introduced it at Portland, Ore-based Stumptown Coffee Roasters.

“In a nitro beer, you’ve got a large amount of nitrogen, but you’ve also got some carbon dioxide present from the natural by-products of the fermentation. With coffee, we don’t have the luxury of being able to use CO2 because once CO2 goes into solution, it becomes carbonic acid, and any addition of acid to coffee destroys the flavour and makes it unpalatable,” Armbrust says.

So Armbrust had to figure out how to get N2 into the coffee without the help of CO2. The secret, he says, is to make the tiniest N2 bubbles possible and force them into the coffee using precisely controlled pressure.

When poured properly, Armbrust says, the nitro coffee “seems like there’s cream in it, just because of the texture and the mouthfeel. But it’s just black coffee and gas.”

Introducing JoeTap

AC Beverage, an Annapolis company, has joined the new trend with its soon-to-be patented JoeTap system that it uses to “bubble-ify” its nitro coffee, making the drink “taste as if you’ve added cream and a sweetener to the cup”.

Charles Kleinrichert, founder of AC Beverage and inventor of JoeTap, says that his system, which debuted recently at the annual Specialty Coffee Association of America gathering in Seattle, breaks down the nitrogen into microscopic bubbles that better infuse the coffee giving it the velvety texture.

Described as a “paradigm shifter in coffee and what coffee can be and what flavours you can get out of coffee”, the JoeTap operates differently than standard nitrogen and/or Co2 taps, the kind developed for beer but used for coffee at places such as Slipstream, Meridian Pint, Room 11 and Chaplin’s.

Nitrogen gas bubbles are too large to infuse quickly into a liquid like coffee, Kleinrichert says. This explains why nitrogen taps mostly push coffee through the lines with little infusion. Some extremely patient, craft-crazy operators, such as Slipstream on 14th Street NW, will keg their cold concentrate coffee with nitrogen and let it sit for a day or two, occasionally shaking the kegs to infuse the gas.

He believes the JoeTap system can bring out flavours that previously remained buried in a coffee.

As those microscopic nitrogen bubbles open up and pop, they “can absolutely bring out some flavours that you wouldn’t normally get,” Kleinrichert points out, “You’re creating unique new flavours that were never found in coffee previously.”

Nitro coffee is not only being sold on tap, both Stumptown and Austin, Texas-based Cuvée Coffee are selling the stuff in widget-loaded cans…..

Washington Post: Read the full article


Additonal reading:

Will beer-like coffee see big success? CBS News

There’s a new coffee trend brewing and it delivers double the jolt. Adding nitrogen gives the drink qualities of beer, without the alcohol.

From coffee shops to coffee trucks, people are starting their morning like it’s Friday night, with a cold frosty brew straight from the tap.

“You’ve got something that’s an adult beverage,” Mod Cup Coffee Co co-owner Justin Hicks said….

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